• Home
  • About
  • Recipes
  • Books
  • Contact
Welcome to The Perfect Pantry, now with larger type, larger photos, and a design that's easier to read on your tablet or phone. For more goodies you won't find here on the blog, subscribe to my free newsletter, Tidbits. And to make sure you never miss a recipe, use the box at right to sign up for email updates.

May 3, 2015

Spanish chicken with saffron and green olives {gluten-free}

Spanish chicken with olives, an easy party dish with real wow!

Whenever my parents entertained, my mother served one of her party dishes, a short list of easy-to-cook chicken (always chicken) dinners with a wow factor. She never made those dishes for everyday dinners, only for parties. I'm not sure why, but that's how she rolled. Mother would have added this Spanish chicken to the party list, because it's really easy on the cook (though it looks complicated), and it's beautiful on the plate. I want you to enjoy it on a weeknight, for lunch, for no particular occasion, or even on a picnic. The wow factor comes from a pinch of saffron, and some smoked paprika (pimentón), which is much easier to find these days, even in the grocery store. Smoked paprika comes in several degrees of heat; dulce (sweet, with no heat) is the most common, but if you can find picante (hot), that's the one I like to use here. This is not a hot and spicy recipe, and I know that, even if you think you don't like hot food, you'll miss the slight bit of hot paprika if it's not there. If you can't find picante, use regular smoked paprika and add the tiniest pinch of cayenne. Put this dish on your party list, and on your everyday list, too.

Read more "Spanish chicken with saffron and green olives {gluten-free}" »

May 2, 2015

Wooden spoons: like or dislike?

Wooden-spoons

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, and favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

When we downsized our kitchen in the move from the log house to Boston, I had to sacrifice some of my beloved 200+ wooden spoons. (I've shared some of my favorite spoon stories here on The Perfect Pantry.) The small collection (two dozen) I now have sitting in a crock adjacent to the stove represents spoons that are most used, and most loved. Some came home with me from my travels -- to Nicaragua, Italy, Malaysia -- and one is the spoon I made to celebrate a big-O birthday some years ago. Wooden spoons are both utilitarian and beautiful; over time, they acquire the patina of everything they've touched, and I can't imagine cooking without them. How about you? [PS: my friend Bob made the ceramic crock. Isn't it lovely?]

Wooden spoons: like or dislike?

Read more "Wooden spoons: like or dislike?" »

April 29, 2015

Slow cooker beef brisket with pomegranate molasses gravy

Slow cooker beef brisket with pomegranate molasses gravy takes just a few minutes to prep. [ThePerfectPantry.com]

Cousin Martin came to visit last week, and I made our grandmother's brisket for him. If you've heard that I never met a brisket recipe I didn't love, you heard right, and while I've made brisket the same way my grandmother did for most of my life, lately I've been branching out, too. I've tried sweet, and spicy, Tex-Mex and BBQ and shredded. A bottle of Lebanese pomegranate molasses in the pantry inspired this latest slow cooker recipe, and when I went looking online, I found several versions to use as a starting point. Pomegranate molasses brings a tangy sweet-sour flavor to the meat, and mint leaves added at the end offer an unexpected -- and delightful -- change from the usual heavier seasonings. I use my new favorite technique of cutting the meat into four pieces and browning all of the edges before slow cooking with the remaining ingredients; this has the added advantage of producing pieces that are just the right length for sandwiches. You can cook the brisket in one whole piece, for a finished dish that's a bit less, well... edgy. Look for pomegranate molasses at Middle Eastern markets, or online.

Read more "Slow cooker beef brisket with pomegranate molasses gravy" »

April 26, 2015

Orzo with slow-roasted tomatoes, lemon and parsley {vegetarian}

Make this orzo with slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomatoes, lemon and parsley in a skillet. An easy side dish!

A great all-purpose side dish to accompany roast chicken, salmon or lamb chops, this orzo with slow-roasted tomatoes, lemon, and plenty of fresh parsley tastes as good at room temperature (for a picnic) as it does hot off the stove. Orzo is a small, flat pasta; in this recipe I cook it in a skillet, in the way I might cook rice for risotto, letting the pasta absorb the liquid slowly to give it a creamy texture at the end. I buy beautiful tri-color orzo at my local supermarket; it gets its color, and flavor, from spinach and tomato, and adds visual interest to this dish. Use regular or whole wheat orzo if that's what you have. I found the last of last summer's slow-roasted tomatoes in my freezer, and added them to the pan along with their oily juices. Good-quality sun-dried tomatoes will work well, too (be sure to add some of the oil from the jar). To turn this side dish into the main attraction, toss in some feta cheese, chickpeas, shredded cooked chicken, or steamed shrimp.

Read more "Orzo with slow-roasted tomatoes, lemon and parsley {vegetarian}" »

April 25, 2015

Rosemary: like or dislike?

Rosemary

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, and favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme: thanks to Simon and Garfunkel, when I plant one, I feel obligated to plant them all. Parsley and thyme became the mainstays of my herb garden at the log house, and I could use them both in most any recipe. A hardy sage bush lasted for years, though I harvested the leaves infrequently. Rosemary, not so much. The strong flavor has never been a favorite in our house. Rosemary isn't hardy here in New England, so every year I drive to the garden center, buy a new plant, dutifully tend it, and hardly ever harvest it. Do you cook with rosemary? What are your favorite ways to use it?

Rosemary: like or dislike?

Read more "Rosemary: like or dislike?" »

Welcome to The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

Never miss a recipe

My best recipes

Shop here

  • Start your Amazon shopping here, and your purchases help support this site. Thank you.

Beat the drum

My Photo

Find me here too

Syndicated on BlogHer.com
Blog powered by Typepad